Species: Jack Dempsey Cichlid (Rocio octofasciata) Location: Orlando, Florida Date: July 8, 2018
The Jack Dempsey Cichlid was one of a few “longshots” I had on my Target List for my visit to Orlando. I knew they’d been recorded, but based on my research, only in scattered pockets, isolated ponds, and the like.
In fact, their range is supposed to be decreasing, rather than increasing.
Well, if the half dozen or so I landed are any indication, they’re still holding out in a few places, prancing around the ring and refusing to give up.
Apparently, they’ll need a knockout punch rather than a judge’s decision to finally admit defeat.
Species: Black Acara (Cichlasoma bimaculatum) Location: Orlando, Florida Date: July 8, 2018
I was told these would be easy to catch. Once I found them, that proved true. Unfortunately, I struck out several times before finding the sweet spot.
Alas, it was worth the wait.
When I did find them, I also found half a dozen other species, including sunfish, killifish, and two more cichlids.
The Black Acara doesn’t get very big, but is is a pretty species. Since cichlids are generally a hot mess in terms of genetic purity and capable of hybridizing with dozens of others. This made identification even more difficult, but I managed.
It was actually Ryan Crutchfield of fishmap.org who helped me identify it, as well as the surprise species I caught minutes later.